Tendai was born in Jingzhou in China in 538 . He had already memorized one section of Hoke
Kyo(Lotus Sutra) at the age of seven. He went to Changsha and worshipped deities at the age of fifteen, which made him decided to be a monk at the age of eighteen.
At the first, he studied disciplines of Buddhism under Hui-suu and he studied Hoke Kyo(Lotus Sutra) , the Sutra of Infinite Meaning ( Muryoju Kyo) and the Sutra of Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal Worthy (Fugen Kyo). , so on. He went to Jinling (present Nanjing) with 27 of his fellow pupils in the same school. He had a debate against Fazai who had a high reputation as one of the great four old masters of Zen then. Tendai beat him, which brought him a higher reputation. He admired and Tao-su and became his disciple.
While in Jinling (present Nanjing) for eight years he had lectures of Hoke Kyo(Lotus Sutra). He preached Daichido-ron and Zen. Later he left Jinling (present Nanjing) and went to Mt. Tientai.
Since then, he got the dynasty's support, he preached the Golden Splendour Sutra to him. He was invited by Emperor Yong-yo, giving him the Buddhism baptist. He entered Jinling, preached the profound Meaning of Hoke Kyo(Lotus Sutra). He got respect from Chen and Sui dynasty. He was bestowed the title of the Wisdom.
He returned to Mt. Lao and built a holy house there and also fixed Yu-quan temple. He was bestowed the title of the temple.
After he returned Mt. Tientai, he died at the age of sixty and buried there. Though he was also bestowed the some titles, he was usually called Chisha Taishi( the Wisdom), or Tendai Taishi because he was in Tientai. He had a lot of the disciples who succeeded his laws. He also left a lot of writing works.